Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats

146                                         THE TOENTY-FOtra GHJ&3.
tombs date apparently from the sixteentli century and the architecture is in
all its details so essentially of Hindu design that, were i$ not for the word
* Allah9 introdaced here and there into the sculptured decorations, there would
be nothing to distinguish them from Hindu chhattris.    The Muhammadans
call this the Shaikh GrMt, while the Hindus maintain that the word is not
Shaikh, but  Shesh, the name of the thousand-headed serpent that forms
Vishnu's couch and canopy.   This is probable enough, for the final cerebral
sibilant is vulgarly   pronounced and indeed  often written as the guttural
kh.   After long dispute between the two parties as to who should have
the privilege of rebuilding the ghat, the work was taken  in hand in 1875
by Yilayat Hosain, the Seth's house agent, who also added a mosque and
gave no little offence thereby.   He died in 18793 leaving one minaret of the
mosque still unfinished.
The word G-hantabharan (which would be derived from ffhanta}  a bell/
and lharan, 'bearing,')  is  in the Vraj-bhaktl-vilas perhaps more correctly
written Ghantabhan, bhan meaning c sound.'   The allusion is to the bell, by
the ringing of which Vishnu is roused from his four months* slumber on the
llth. of the month KartiL
The name Dharapatan (from dJidrd, c a stream,/ and patan} ' falling/} pro-
bably referred primarily to the position of the ghat, which is on & protesting
point where it bears the fall force of the f fall of the stream.*   But in the Mahat-
mya It is explained by the following legend :" Oace upon a time,, a woman,
whose home was on the bank of tbe Ganges, came on a pilgrimage to Mathura
and arrived there oa the 12th of KartiL   As she was stepping into a boat near
the place where now is the Bhara-patan Gliat, she fell over and was drowned.
By virtue of this immersion in the sacred flood, she was born again in an exalted
position as the daughter of the Mag of Banaras, and, under the name of iihe Rani
Pivari, was married to Kshatra-dhsEO? ihe Mug of Surashfcra, by whom she
had seven sons and five daughters.   Upon one occasion when the royal pair
were comparing motes* it came to light that he too had undergone a very simi-
lar experience : for, originally he had been a wild savage who had come over
to Ma&nii from Hie Maimisha forest and was crossing the Jammia with his
shoes Maaccd on iihe top of Ms head, when they fell off into the water.   He
slipped down to recover them and was swept away by the torrent and
drowned.   Every stain of sin beiag- Urns washed out of his body, when he again
took Mr& It was no longer as a barbarous Mishadh% or wild man of the woods?
tot as a noble Ksiiatriya Mag/5